4 out of 4 stars
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The Freedom Building by Martin Kendall is a psychological thriller set in the United Kingdom. The story begins with the protagonist, John Gowan, finding out that a famous office building in a neighboring city has been destroyed by Islamic terrorists. Gowan owns a small architectural firm with his friend and former classmate, Pete Williams. He dreams of designing big buildings like this but has never succeeded. Two weeks later, John goes to see the destruction and takes some measurements. As he drives home, euphoria over the hope of drawing such a famous building engulfs him, and he speeds too fast through a curve and crashes his car.
Three and a half years later Gowan wakes up in the hospital with amnesia. He sees a local paper and discovers what year it is and that he had, indeed, designed the wonderful building and is now famous. However, our protagonist decides not to tell anyone about his amnesia, perpetuating the idea that he has designed the building. Soon after returning home and to the office, the problems begin. For some reason, John is unable to see the plans for “The Freedom Building”, as it has been popularly dubbed. The lines blur and run together, Whenever anyone talks about the building, John cannot understand what they're saying. As the story continues, he becomes completely frustrated by his inabilities, so he agrees to let his partner, Pete, take some credit for the new building now being constructed so he can continue hiding his amnesia. However, we soon find John falling into a darker and darker abyss, being engulfed by self-doubt and misunderstandings. What follows threatens to overtake his thoughts and well-being. What will John do if/when Pete decides to take all the credit for the building?
There are some strong themes written into The Freedom Building. One of the darker psychological themes deals with good versus evil when John finds himself being overcome with darkness (evil) whenever certain people or events present themselves. Other negative themes include greed, lack of freedom, concealment of the truth, and broken relationships. The book depicts the sad consequences of these evils in the world. Some positive themes are also present like the power of love and family.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is the British flavor of it. It was fun to read about some of the foods and customs indigenous to the UK. I think the author excelled in his descriptions, especially when dealing with John's “darkness”, with phrases such as “swirling mass”, “powerful whirlpool of darkness”, and “threatening to suck him in”. Reading it actually made me feel dizzy, and truly showed how mesmerizing evil can be.
This psychological thriller held me in the palm of its hand throughout until I was dropped cold with a cliff-hanger at the end. If you like to read books that pick you up and don't let go until the end, then you will enjoy The Freedom Building by Martin Kendall. I only caught a couple of typographical errors, and a smattering of examples of vulgar language, spoken in anger, so I am happy to award it with 4 out of 4 stars.
The Freedom Building
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